Today we visit Hapuna Beach State Park north of Kailua-Kona. The landscape on the western side of Hawaii is very barren - entirely volcano lava with a few straggly trees and some imported tall grass. We learn later that there are two types of Hawaiian lava: Pahoehoe" has a smoother and ropey surface whereas "a'a" is rough and jagged. The lava covers the entire land to the ocean and as a result, there are few sandy beaches on the Big Island.
Hapuna Beach is rated as the largest white sand beach on the Island. It's windy today, so our stay is somewhat short, but, hey, it's the ocean!
Tonight we will grill outside and watch the outriggers and surfers from our balcony. The kids (and Joel) try some snorkeling in the bay next to our condo and discover all kinds of creatures, turtles and a sea urchin later identified as a Ha'uke'uke, or Shingle Urchin (see pictures).